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Nederland – Netherlands 1981 – 2013 Struycken (Queen Beatrix)

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Posted 12/22/2021   5:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add NSK to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Design

On 31 January 1980, the birthday of Crown Princess Beatrix, Queen Juliana announced she would abdicate on her own birthday, 30 April 1980. Beatrix was inaugurated as queen of the Netherlands on 30 April 1980.

The Dutch state communications company, PTT, invited two artists and two graphic designers to submit designs for a new permanent stamp. The brief was to use portrait photos of the Queen taken by award-winning Dutch photographer Vincent Mentzel.



The aesthetic design service of PTT favoured the entry by Peter Struycken. Peter Struycken was an artist and arts lecturer. His work is mainly abstract. Struycken is also known for his use of computers for his work.


Struycken permanent series design

Peter Struycken digitalised one of Vincent Mentzel's photographs of the Queen. He overlayed the photo with a grid of 128 by 128 squares. Some of the squares were made black in a way the portrait of the Queen became recognisable. With the help of two engineers of the Delft Polytechnic (currently Technical University of Delft) the portrait was manipulated with a computer. The result was a chaotic pattern of non-touching black dots that make up a vague portrait of the Queen. The vagueness of the dotted pattern eliminates the temporary moment-in-time nature of a picture and create a timeless, abstract representation of the Queen.

Peter Struycken approached typographer Gerard Unger for the typography: i.e., the face value and the country name.

The top management of PTT and the responsible Government Minister each had different favourites. Eventually, and with the Queen's approval, Peter Struycken's design was chosen for the new permanent series. It may have been that the Queen herself may have been involved in the final choice of the design.
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Posted 12/23/2021   04:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
First series 1981 - 1990

PTT issued the first stamp of this permanent series on 15 December 1981, almost two years after it became known Princess Beatrix would succeed her mother and almost 20 months after the inauguration of Queen Beatrix. The disagreement on which of the submitted designs would be used contributed to this delay.

The stamps show the design of Peter Struycken against a pastel-coloured background within a white frame. The face value and the word "NEDERLAND" designed by Gerard Unger were reversed out of the background. Values below one guilder were shown in cents, abbreviated as "ct." Values of one guilder and higher were shown in guilders, abbreviated as "G." Values that were not whole guilders were shown as guilder-value using a two-decimal notation, with the decimals separated by the decimal comma that is customary in most continental European countries.


Struycken first permanent series sheet stamps

The 75ct, 90ct, and 1,40G values exist with black numbers on the back. These are stamps from stamp rolls with a number printed on the back of every fifth stamp.
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Posted 12/23/2021   09:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Coil stamps

A range of values, also, was available from rolls of stamps. Many post office counters were equipped with dispensers that held rolls of the most used stamps. These made it easy for counter staff to detach the required number of stamps without having to go through a counter stock book and tear up a counter sheet.

The Struycken stamps with imperforate vertical edges derive from stamp rolls. The 75ct, 90ct, and 1,40G with all sides perforated, also, exist from stamp rolls. The 75ct stamp from rolls exists both perforated on all sides and with imperforate vertical edges.


Struycken first permanent series coil stamps with imperforate sides

Every fifth stamp on the roll has a black number printed on the back that indicates the number of stamps left on the coil. Below image shows the numbers on the back of the 70ct, 1,50G, and 2,50G coil stamps. The numbers were printed inverted to the design and in circulation until 1987. From 1986, the numbers were printed sideways, reading from bottom to top.

The numbers would make it possible for counter staff at the post office to see how many stamps were left on the roll. They would also be an aid for counting the number of stamps when the customer asks for a large quantity of stamps.


Struycken numbered coil stamps

My guess would be that the numbers were printed inverted to make them better readable for post office clerks. When the roll is placed on the coil, the design will be on the top side. To see the number, the clerk would lift the end of the coil strip. This inverts the number on the back. For a roll of stamps with bottom delivery, the inverted number would then show correctly.
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Posted 12/24/2021   06:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamp books

The 70ct and 75ct, also, values were issued from machine-vended booklets. The stamp book panes had imperforate top, right, and bottom edges. Stamps from these stamp books are identifiably by having either a single imperforate edge or both an imperforate vertical edge and imperforate top.

Both books sold for 3 guilders. The first book was issued on 16 March 1982. This was numbered PB27A by PTT. The number appears in the bottom left corner of the stub. The book contained four stamps each of the 70ct Struycken and 5 cents Crouwel stamps. The 70ct stamps appear at the top of the pane, having an imperforate left side edge or both an imperforate left side edge and top edge. On 1 April 1985, the booklet was issued with a revised text on the stub. It carries number PB27B.



Stamp book 27b

With the new reign came a new cover design. Above image shows machine-vended stamp book 27B with the cover design used during the reign of Queen Beatrix. Issue 27A has a brown cover design, 27B has a blue cover design (in the scan seen on my own laptop it appears green, but to the naked eye it appears slate-blue).

PTT issued a second machine-vended stamp book, that contained four 75ct stamps of the Struycken design, on 17 June 1986. Each of the four stamps is unique in its format of imperforate edges.


Stamp book 34a

The cover of the book has the same design as PB27A/B. It has a whiter cardboard cover, and the blue colour of the design is brighter than that of PB27B. The brightness of the printing may be due to the brighter background.

Below table lists the stamp books and the stamps contained in them. The numbers are the official issue numbers that appear on the stubs of the panes and NVPH catalogue PB (postzegelboekje) numbers.

L = imperforate at left
TL = imperforate at top and right
R = imperforate at left
TR = imperforate at top and right
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Posted 12/24/2021   4:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Inversion

From 14 March 1991 onwards, PTT issued stamps of the permanent series in a new design by Peter Struycken. He adapted the original design such that the dots that make up the Queen's portrait and typography appeared in colour against a white background.


Struycken permanent series "Inversie" design

The new design is known to philatelists as "inversie." This is the Dutch word for inversion, referring to the inverted use of colour. Of course, it is not a full inversion of the design, as the portrait in the original design was not made up of white but of black dots.
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Edited by NSK - 12/24/2021 5:05 pm
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Posted 12/25/2021   12:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Second series 1991 - 1998

The stamps with the "Inversie" design were issued between 1991 and 1998. In 1999, the Netherlands adopted the common European currency. The old guilder remained in use until the introduction of euro coins and banknotes on 1 January 2002. In January, the old guilder coins and banknotes were taken out of circulation. The guilder-denominated stamps remained valid for prepayment of postage until 31 October 2013. The rate of exchange for the Dutch guilder was set at HFL 2.20371 to the euro. A rule of thumb is to divide by two and subtract a tenth.


Struycken "Inversie" permanent series sheet stamps
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Posted 12/25/2021   08:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
High values with security perforations

In 1993 and 1994, PTT issued stamps with face values of 10G and a 7,50G, respectively. Both values had an elliptical perforation on each vertical side substituting for the three central perforations. Joh. Enschedι of Haarlem that printed the stamps used similar perforations as a measure against counterfeiting on its British Machin definitives.


Struycken "Inversie" permanent series stamps with elliptical perforations

These elliptical security perforations did not become the norm. This is evidenced by the 1,50G (1998) and 2,50G (1994) that were issued after the 10G stamp was issued. Nor was any of the other values ever issued with this security measure after 1994.

The catalogue of the NVPH (Dutch Association of Stamp Dealers) describes the printing technique for these stamps as rotogravure, whereas it describes that for the stamps of the first series and lower values of this "Inversie" series as autotypical gravure.
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Posted 12/25/2021   3:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
1996 Ordinary paper error

Since the introduction of automated letter facing equipment using optical signals in 1962, Dutch stamps have been printed on paper or with ink with luminescent properties. Since 1967, stamps have been printed on paper with a coating that had an added phosphorescent agent.

On 7 March 1996, Joh. Enschedι, mistakenly, printed sheets of the 80ct stamp on reels of paper destined for a foreign customer. The "ordinary" paper had no luminescent agent added to its coating. The sheets were stocked at the distribution centre of PTT Post in Haarlem until required to replenish post office stocks. At the end of May 1996, sheets were distributed to post offices. The error remained unnoticed until the alarm was raised at the beginning of June 1996. The automated letter facing equipment did not recognise the stamps affixed to letters and postcards.


Struycken 80ct phosphor-coated (left) and ordinary (right) papers


Struycken 80ct papers luminescence under (Leuchtturm/Lighthouse) longwave uv-lamp


Struycken 80ct papers luminescence (Leuchtturm/Lighthouse) longwave phosphorescence

From stock at the distribution centre in Haarlem PTT Post determined the error occurred with sheets printed on 7 March 1996. On 7 June 1996, PTT Post issued a bulletin to post offices ordering the return of the relevant stocks. On 13 June 1996, PTT Post, by telephone, again requested the urgent return of stocks of the stamps printed on the wrong paper.

It, later, became known that after the recall on 7 June, PTT Post sent remaining stock of sheets printed on the "ordinary" paper in replacement for recalled sheets. This, likely, prompted the recall by phone on 13 June. It has been estimated that around 45,000 sheets of 200 stamps have been recalled.

The media carried the news of the existence of stamps printed on the wrong paper, already on 7 June. As a result, PTT Post Verzamelservice – the company's philatelic service - in Groningen had received several orders for the stamps. It could not fulfil the orders as the stamps had been taken out of circulation and returned to the distribution centre. On 13 June, a stamp dealer offered the stamp for 30 guilders: equivalent to 13.50 euros. My 2015 NVPH catalogue lists it at 3 euros.

* The above is a summary of information posted in reaction to a blog post on a Dutch philatelic blog https://www.postzegelblog.nl/2008/1...-deze-zegel/
** In 1989, the former state-controlled communications services became an autonomous company. It split off its banking unit that merged into what would later become ING Group. The telecommunications activities continued under the name of Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV (KPN) with a postal division PTT Post BV and a telephone division PTT Telecom BV. The company was privatised, in 1993, and listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, in 1994. In 1996, it acquired Australia's Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT) that was merged with PTT Post BV into TNT Post Groep (TPG). In 1998, Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV (KPN) was split up into a postal company TNT Post Groep NV and a telephone company Koninklijke KPN NV. The postal services continued to operate under the name PTT Post until 2002, when it was renamed TPG Post. This became TNT Post, in 2006, and, in 2011. PostNL.
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Posted 12/26/2021   03:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Coil stamps

Some values, also, were available from rolls of stamps. These had imperforate vertical edges. The 1,10G stamp was issued in 2000. This value on gummed paper only exists as coil stamp.


Struycken second permanent series coil stamps with imperforate sides

Every fifth stamp on the roll has a black number printed on the back that indicates the number of stamps left on the coil. Below image shows the numbers on the back of the 80ct and 1,50G. The numbers, from 1991 onwards, were printed sideways, reading from top to bottom and had a letter added after the digits. The 80ct stamp also exists with the number printed in a different fount


Struycken numbered coil stamps
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Posted 12/26/2021   08:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamp books

PTT Post issued stamp books for vending machines containing the 75ct and 80ct values. The stamp book panes had imperforate top, right, and bottom edges. Because the orientation of the stamps was inverted to that of the first Struycken series, the stamps from these stamp books are identifiably by having either a single imperforate edge or both an imperforate vertical edge and imperforate bottom.

The first book, PB42A, sold for 3 guilders and contained four 75ct stamps. It was issued on 14 March 1991. The number appears in the bottom right corner of the stub. The cover had a revised design and was printed in green.



Stamp book 42a

A book containing five 80ct stamps selling for 4 guilders was issued on 25 June 1991. The stamp book has the same cover design as PB42A.


Stamp book 43c

There exist four editions of this stamp book, numbered PB43A through PB43D. Each edition had a revised text on the stub of the stamp pane and a different printing colour for its cover.

Below table lists the stamp books and the stamps contained in them. The numbers are the official issue numbers that appear on the stubs of the panes and NVPH catalogue PB (postzegelboekje) numbers.

L = imperforate at left
BL = imperforate at bottom and left *
R = imperforate at left
BR = imperforate at bottom and right

* In my earlier post, TL should read imperforate at top and left instead of at top and right.
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Self-adhesive stamps

When the euro was adopted in 1999, it was decided to introduce coins and banknotes in the eleven participating countries – at the time, Greece did not meet the criteria to participate – on 1 January 2002. On 2 July 2001, the eve of this introduction, PTT Post issued several stamps with a face value in euro and gulden.

PTT Post, also, issued cards of five self-adhesive permanent stamps in the current Struycken design on 2 June 2001 (1,45G) and 3 September 2001 (1G, 1,10G, 2,50G, and 5G). None of these stamps showed the equivalent euro value. These stamps were printed in photogravure on phosphor-coated paper by Walsall Security Printers Limited of England.


Struycken second permanent series self-adhesive stamps (gulden)

PTT Post applied deeper die cutting to punch out individual stamps for collectors.


Struycken second permanent series self-adhesive stamps (gulden) back
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Posted 12/27/2021   07:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dual-currency stamps

On 2 July 2001, PTT Post issued a self-adhesive stamp covering the new basic rate for inland letters up to 20 grammes. This had the value indicated both in euro and florin. Where values of less than a guilder had the face value denoted in cents, this stamp shows it in decimal notation as f0,85. This also constituted a departure from the old notation that added a G after the value. It was more common practice to use the f before the value than the G behind it. The "f" referred to "florijn" (florin), derived from the old Florentine fiorino d'oro that translated into "gulden florijn."

The corresponding value in euro was rounded to the nearest cent, and shown in its decimal notation as €0,39; the equivalent being €0.3857. This stamp also was printed by Walsall Security Printers of England and sold per five stamps. Once again, the philatelic service punched out individual stamps for collectors.



Struycken second permanent series dual currency self-adhesive stamp
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Posted 12/27/2021   11:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Luminescence

As was the case with the stamps printed on gummed paper, the self-adhesive stamps were printed on phosphor-coated paper. The stamps show a greenish yellow afterglow after exposure to ultraviolet light. Below image shows the afterglow of the self-adhesive stamps after exposure to shortwave ultraviolet light.


Struycken self-adhesive stamps: (Leuchtturm/Lighthouse) shortwave phosphorescence
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Euro design

On 2 January 2002, the first business day after the introduction of euro coins and banknotes – the currency had existed since 1999 –, PTT Post issued permanent stamps in the Struycken design that showed the face value only in euro. As the last gulden issues, these were self-adhesive stamps printed by Walsall Security Printers.

The stamps were bi-coloured. The value and the word "NEDERLAND" were printed in a different colour from the dots making up the portrait of H.M. Queen Beatrix. All values had a decimal notation preceded by the €-symbol.


Struycken permanent series euro design
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Third series 2002 - 2009

The stamps with euro denominations were issued in cards of five stamps. Cards exist with the PTTPost, TPGPost, and TNT|Post logos. No single stamp exists from cards with all three logos. The €0,39 stamp also was issued in a card of 10 stamps with the TPGPost logo. The €0,44 stamp, only, was issued in cards of 10 stamps with the TNT|Post logo. The postal service had all stamps punched out to make them available as singles to collectors.


Struycken third permanent series
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Posted 12/29/2021   09:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Security (elliptical) perforations

The €0,44 stamp was issued on 11 December 2006. It prepaid carriage of standard mail to inland addresses for the first weight step: i.e., up to 20 grammes. It was issued in cards of ten stamps. The cards showed the TNT|Post logo. The stamps were die-cut with elliptical perforations substituting for the central three perforations on each vertical side. On 2 January 2009, cards of ten die-cut stamps without elliptical perforations were put in circulation. These also had the TNT|Post logo.

TNT Post made single stamps punched out of the cards available to collectors. It did so for the 2006 stamp with elliptical security perforations and the 2009 stamp without the elliptical perforations.


Struycken two versions of €0,44
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Edited by NSK - 12/29/2021 11:25 am
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